‘Bio-Fuels…Driving India's Future'

Nine states, two provinces have government mandate to use 5 percent ethanol blends in 100 percent of the gasoline, 10 percent ethanol blends is ultimate goal
By Mike Bryan, President BBI International | November 01, 2002
The Biofuels Convention in Delhi, India, co-coordinated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and BBI International, was a very successful event. The theme, "Bio-Fuels…Driving India's Future," certainly typified the mood of the conference. The focus of the presentations was quite evenly divided between ethanol and biodiesel. But clearly, the legislation that has now been enacted requiring the use of ethanol-blended fuels was the driving force behind all the excitement.

Currently nine states and two provinces have a government mandate to use 5% ethanol blends in 100% of the gasoline sold year-round, beginning in January 2003. However, there is growing pressure to move that level to 10%, even before further legislation is officially approved. But all indications are that it will likely begin at 5% with a general understanding that 10% is the ultimate goal.

CII did an outstanding job of attracting top-level government officials as presenters. The Minister of Petroleum, the Minister of Non-Conventional Fuels and the Minister of Agriculture spoke at the conference and all were very enthusiastic about the expanded use of biofuels in India and expressed their commitment to growing the industry in India.

In addition, the Ambassador to India from Brazil encouraged to the Indian government to push forward with their program by detailing the success and challenges that Brazil has faced over the years. Her message was direct, but sincere, "You are on the right path…but you must be willing to withstand the ups and downs and twists and turns in the biofuels industry as a result of world sugar prices, world oil price fluctuations and the ever changing winds of politics. If you do not have that level of commitment, the program will fail."

Finally, a special thanks to these visionary companies that helped sponsor this important event: Praj Industries, Alltech, Inc., Biocon India Limited, Delta-T Corporation, Genencor International, Inc., Novozymes, and Innovative Environmental Technologies PVT. LTD.